By March 16, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Robocall Twitter traffic is alive and well, a first in Canadian political issues online

I’m fascinated by what Twitter does and doesn’t tell us about political issues. While there are many purported examples of how Twitter made or killed a political issue or career, I can offer just as many many more examples of how everyone raved about Twitter moving the needle only to be proven wrong. If you follow my blog, you’re probably getting tired of me showcasing examples of the This Too Shall Pass Effect.

You must have felt refreshed when, a few days ago, I showcased the exception that gave credibility to the rule. I called it the Here It Goes Again Effect and showed how the current Robocall scandal/issue/crisis (call it what you will) ranks in Twitter traffic. Where most online enthusiasm on Canadian political issues has come and gone to much amped up fanfare, tweets about the Robocall allegations and investigation haven’t dipped below 2,000/day since they first appeared on February 22nd. This makes Robocalls the one Canadian political issue with enough momentum to carry itself beyond three cycles of Tylenol as in the case of the draft G8 Report and the recent online activity surrounding Vic Toews and the introduction of Bill C-30 (which still generates roughly 500 tweets/day mostly on news of the Commons Committee investigating Adam Carroll and Anonymous).

In fact, the Robocall controversy has generated 123,778 tweets (estimated 186 million impressions) over three weeks (with no fewer than 2,000 tweets/day as noted above). Activity related to Bill C-30 generated 120,987 tweets (estimated 75 million impressions), 75% of which was generated in the first four days of that issue. What we’re able to determine from this is there’s a greater number of unique participants in the Robocall activity; Bill C-30 is a niche issue, Robocalls is capturing a wider field of interest.

Note the graph that follows was created at 2:30pmET today (March 16). Which means, the data point for today does not account for all of today’s traffic. The bump at February 15th reflects tweets about an FCC crackdown on Robocalls which I’ve included in this graph as a frame of reference for the Canadian issue.

[UPDATED 4:15pmET]

Analysis performed using Sysomos MAP.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.